Expand the Rooney Rule It Should Apply to Hiring across the Pittsburgh Region to Equalize Opportunities for Minorities, Argues B- Pep's Tim Stevens

By Stevens, Tim | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), June 8, 2014 | Go to article overview

Expand the Rooney Rule It Should Apply to Hiring across the Pittsburgh Region to Equalize Opportunities for Minorities, Argues B- Pep's Tim Stevens


Stevens, Tim, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)


In 2010 the Pittsburgh metro area was rated 40th out of 40 regions in the United States in conditions for the black working poor and black children. This shocking reality led the leadership of the Black Political Empowerment Project and the Coalition Against Violence to engage Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, then-Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, leaders of Allegheny Conference on Community Development and of other area agencies and organizations to initiate the Corporate Equity & Inclusion Roundtable.

The roundtable's first annual event took place May 13, 2013. It was lauded by all parties as a powerful conversation during which companies and corporations looked at how they could move from "well meaning to well doing," that is, how they could raise their level of commitment and urgency in making the regional workforce more diverse, equitable and inclusive.

The second annual event, hosted by Duquesne University President Charles Dougherty, Mr. Fitzgerald and Mayor Bill Peduto, will take place Monday from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Duquesne University's Power Center Ballroom.

The purpose of the Corporate Equity & Inclusion Roundtable is to see more African-Americans and people of color employed, from entry- level positions to the 'C' suite, become business owners and win more public and private contracts for construction projects, goods and services throughout the region.

The roundtable's vision is to bring about measurable and lasting breakthroughs in workforce diversity, equity and inclusion and in economic opportunities.

The roundtable seeks to identify, develop and implement strategies to overcome challenges within the corporate sector by facilitating collaboration among educational institutions, community organizations, workforce-development agencies and professional organizations.

The roundtable aspires to brand our region as a national leader in creating a strong and meaningful commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

At last year's inaugural roundtable event, Pittsburgh Steelers President Arthur J. Rooney II echoed the roundtable working group in urging corporate Pittsburgh to adopt a "Revised Rooney Rule," a corporate version of the National Football League's Rooney Rule. This would make it standard practice to interview African-Americans and people of color not only for top executive positions but for all jobs.

Mr. Rooney also spoke of what the working group called "The Hybrid Rooney Rule," which would include, in the final round of consideration, firms and companies owned by African-Americans and people of color before awarding contracts for construction projects and for goods and services. …

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